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Opinion

Bill Gates Takes Massive $95M Bet on Bud Light (It’s Bad)

Bill Gates interview with 60 Minutes via CBS

Bill Gates, who is known for his left-wing political views, has made a strategic move in the beverage industry by backing Anheuser-Busch.

The company is still grappling with disastrous fallout after promoting controversial far-left transgender activism to its customers.

Gates has invested $95 million in Anheuser-Busch by acquiring 1.7 million shares through his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust.

Anheuser-Busch celebrated social influencer Dylan Mulvaney’s “transition” from male to female by producing special cans featuring Mulvaney’s face. This led to widespread boycotts and the beer lost its top-ranking position.

Gates’ charitable foundation, based in Seattle, boasts assets valued at a staggering $69 billion.

As a result of the campaign’s fallout, Anheuser-Busch’s stock price has slipped by almost 9% over the past six months.

In the last five days alone, it has dropped over 3% to $56.08. A national boycott of Bud Light has contributed to this ongoing decline.

Modelo Especial has emerged as the new leader in the beer market, outperforming Bud Light in year-to-date sales. As of August 19, Modelo held an 8.4% share of beer sales in stores, surpassing Bud Light’s 8.2% share, according to reports by Bump Williams Consulting and NielsonIQ.

Bump Williams, the head of the consultancy, noted that Modelo’s popularity continues to grow, with more consumers purchasing it in larger quantities as summer progresses.

Despite these challenges, Bill Gates appears confident in Anheuser-Busch’s potential for a comeback. This isn’t his first foray into the beer industry, despite admitting in a 2018 Reddit session that he’s not a big beer drinker.

Earlier this year, Gates acquired a 3.76% stake in Heineken Holding NV by purchasing 10.8 million shares valued at $939.87 million at the time of the transaction.

Bud Light is making efforts to reconnect with its core audience. In an attempt to distance itself from the controversial Mulvaney partnership, the brand released a new ad tailored to football fans, a key demographic.

The ad showcases fans gearing up for the upcoming football season with Bud Light, meals, replica jerseys, and tailgating events, all set to the tune of Etta James’ “A Sunday Kind of Love.” The ad concludes with the tagline: “Football, Bud Light and Sunday go easy together.”

This move to win back boycotting customers hasn’t been without its challenges, as some consumers on social media reacted unfavorably.

Additionally, other beer brands under the Anheuser-Busch umbrella experienced setbacks due to the campaign’s fallout.

Budweiser’s sales declined by 10.3% in the week ending August 19, while Michelob Ultra, another Anheuser-Busch brand, saw a modest 0.4% increase in sales during the same period.

Brands not affiliated with Anheuser-Busch, such as Miller Lite, Coors Light, and Yuengling Lager, have been gaining market share, with significant growth in sales reported in August.

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